Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tragedy, Love and Hope

From Daily Prayer
Yesterday was a heartbreaking day. Blogger Jeff Goins said that there are no words for a time like this. He's absolutely right!

As I watched the horror unfold yesterday morning, I thought about my four children and couldn't wait to give each one a hug. Even though they're in their teens and twenties, I still want to hug them as often as I can and make sure I tell them I love them every day.

I really didn't have any words to express what I was feeling last night. My son Daniel put my feelings into words quite well in his Facebook post:
In between the silence and pain, we will find a new tomorrow. My heart goes out to every mother and father that said goodbye to their child this morning, and who will be waiting for 3:00 to come for the rest of their lives. I am praying for you.
 I thought a lot about all of you, the moms I look forward to seeing every day, and your precious little ones. Some of your babies that I have worked with are the same age as those first graders who were senselessly shot. I cannot imagine the unfathomable grief those mothers and fathers in Connecticut are experiencing today.

One first grade teacher told her students how very much she loved them as she huddled in hiding with them; she was certain that was the last thing they would hear, and she wanted them to know they were loved. Fortunately, she and her class survived. Another first grade teacher hid her children, shielding them from the gunman. Her children survived; she did not.

How do we respond and carry on from here? How do we talk to our school-age children about this? I truly believe the most important thing we can do is simply reassure our little ones that we love them and are there for them. Hold them just a little closer for a little longer. Whether you have babies, teenagers or grandchildren, know that you can't ever say "I love you" too much!

In 1999 Steven Curtis Chapman released the album Speechless.  He wrote one very special song on that album for friends who had lost a child. Later that song, "With Hope" was sung after a shooting at Chapman's alma mater in Paducah, KY. As you think about yesterday's tragedy, I pray this song will help comfort and give perspective.

Tonight I am praying for those families in New Town, CT, who grieve, for those whose hearts are broken, for those who will have unopened presents under the Christmas tree. May the God of all comfort somehow grant them peace.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  Matthew 5:4

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